CAIRO: A state of emergency and curfew will be in place for three months in parts of North Sinai following Friday explosions that targeted a military installation in Sheikh Zuwayed city, killed 27 soldiers and injured 31, according to media reports.
In another major Friday attack, a group of armed men attacked a military checkpoint in Karam Qowadis to the east of Arish with RPGs and mortar shells, Youm7 reporter Mohamed Tantawy told The Cairo Post Saturday. “When the armed forces arrived at the incident site to transfer the injured, more shells were fired on the forces leading to more deaths,” he said.
The military has not yet issued a statement revealing the details of the explosions, but reports say a car bomb detonated at a checkpoint in Arish in the neighborhood of Kherruba, and a second bomb went off in Karam Qowadis in Sheikh Zuwayed.
Two military armored vehicles transferring soldiers were reported to have been destroyed by explosions, and gunfights were also reported to have taken place between the army and militants in Arish.
A national three-day public mourning was declared Friday by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, and will end on Monday, Oct. 27.
Following the attacks, a meeting was held by the National Defense Council Friday evening headed by Sisi, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and a number of ministers and military leaders.
A statement was issued from the meeting announcing the curfew and state of emergency in North Sinai, which has been the scene of numerous militant attacks since the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi on July 3, 2013.
According to the statement as published on Veto Gate news website, the state of emergency will be applied starting from 5 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014. The curfew will be imposed from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. every day.
The council determined the area where the state of emergency and the curfew will be imposed, and it extends from Tal Rafah Mara to Awja in eastern North Sinai, from West Arish to Mount Halal in western South Sinai, from West Arish passing through the Red Sea coast until the international border in Rafah in northern North Sinai, and from Mount Halal to Awja in the south.